Travel hacks – How to get the best seat on an Airplane
- Research all options well before you book.
- Buy your tickets early (at least a month in advance) and book your seat(s) when purchasing the ticket.
- If booking tickets via a human at a Travel Agents, use seating as an incentive and most agents will oblige to secure the sale.
- Join the frequent flyer program and use your loyalty points to upgrade.
- Check-in online as early as possible, usually 24 hours before the flight departs, when you can confirm or change the seat you’ve already chosen, sometimes even get a better one. If seat selection is not available when booking online, call the airline directly.
- Get to the airport early. If you arrive too late at your gate, you may lose your seat. Once you reach your gate, ask whether any new seats have opened up. If other passengers upgrade to business class or don’t show up for the flight, you may get lucky and grab a better assignment.
- Request a seat upgrade at the gate, don’t forget to smile and be nice to the check-in staff.
- Consider purchasing a better seat. Most airlines now offer Premium economy-class seats with extra legroom for a small additional fee.
- Check an online seat guide, e.g. Seat Guru or Seat Plans and depending on your preferences look for seats that;
- Have the most leg room, usually bulkhead (on the wings). However the sacrifice for extra leg-room here, is rubbish TV screens, so be sure to pack your tablet loaded-up with the latest movies for your flight entertainment.
- Are adjacent to lavatories – Can be a positive (no-one behind) or a negative (smells/queues/people traffic)
- Are at the front or on exit rows (for a quick get away)
- Seats don’t recline – To avoid being super cramped at meal-time when the traveller in front does not have courtesy or decency to return to the upright position! By the way this option is usually mandatory on budget airlines e.g. EasyJet
- Beware of a “Bassinet Seat” (no-one in front, usually the middle row at bulkhead) – If there is a baby on the flight, the baby will be placed in a basket right in front of you, plus you may also be kicked out of the seat so that the baby’s parents can sit there!
If all else fails, why not invest in a decent Travel Cushion
Be sure to take some antiseptic wet-wipes and ALWAYS wipe down the seat tray and arm rests as these are very rarely cleaned in between flight turn-around’s.
If you want the chance of a free upgrade to a business class or upper class seat then don’t book a special meal and join the frequent flyer scheme – members always come first.